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By Pastor Calvary Callender

loved her little doll. She took it everywhere and did everything with it. Eventually, because of her love for this doll, the family fell in love with the doll as well. In fact, when Mandy grew up and left the house, her mom packed the doll with care and stored it as a keep sake. He tells of a time that they were on a family trip and left the doll, Pandy, in a hotel room and drove some distance before they realized it was gone. Because of Mandy's love for Pandy, the family turned the car around and went back to pick up Pandy.

While this may seem like a silly story, the meaning is significant. You see, this story illustrates true love. There are really two types of love, shallow love and real love. Shallow love is the kind of love that is drawn to an object or person because that object is attractive, important, can give me status, or makes me feel good. We deal with this type of love every day. In fact, we all play the game. We work hard to convince everybody else that we are lovable. What we wear, what we drive, how much money we have, what neighborhood we live in, are all things that we feel might give us value in other people's eyes.

There is another kind of love that creates value in what is loved. We are all rag dolls. No matter how hard we try, how far we climb, what we wear, we are all rag dolls. Honestly, nothing we can do will help us escape the raggedness. Sure, we may be able to hide the raggedness from time to time, but it doesn't change the nature of who we are.

This is why I am such a fan of Jesus. Jesus came to earth to start a different kind of Kingdom. A place where people who get trashed on down here can be loved as if they were up there. What I mean is that He came to bring Heaven to us, and teach us how to live as if we were in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus didn't only come to pay for us to be able to go to heaven when we die, he came to teach us how to live now. How to love each other like he loves us.

Remember, we are all ragdolls. The next time you look at someone, remember that, and try to look at them the way Jesus might. His kingdom is available to

News Features - Mentor's Corner


By Pastor Calvary Callender

When I was in 6th grade we were at the age that boyfriends and girlfriends started to be important. Seemed like everybody had one, so I wanted one. I don’t remember who I might have had a crush on, but I do remember there was a girl that was available, so I asked her to be mine. She said yes, even told me she loved me on the phone one night (that freaked me out a little). The next day at school, somebody asked her if we were “going out” and before I could say anything she said, “No, we’re just friends.” Needless to say, we soon became "just friends."

I'll never forget the way that made me feel. To think that there was someone who was supposed to be my girlfriend, and she was embarrassed by me! While that was a tough moment in my life, I have never forgotten the lesson that it taught me. I vowed to never make anybody feel that way. I have carried that lesson into my relationship with God. I want to reciprocate the love that he has for me, and I want to do it with more than words. I want to act like I know and love him. You know, words are cheap. Love worth having is worth demonstrating.

Did you know that 55% of all communication is body language? Our actions really do speak louder than words. This is why expressions of love in a relationship are important. If we claim to know and love God, we should be willing to express that love. I never want God to feel like I did on that day.

News Features - Mentor's Corner


By Pastor Calvary Callender

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon. The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?" The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!" Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!" The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?" The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied "We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing - and they think WE did it!"

We are in a time where people are wondering where God is. Did we lose God somewhere? Our society seems to be in chaos. And those who stand for righteousness are called intolerant. It is not God's will that the world, the church, or our personal lives should be chaotic. In fact, God is an orderly God, not a God of confusion.

You might be wondering where I am going with this, so I want to turn to Genesis and the creation story to help tell you what I mean.


News Features - Mentor's Corner


By Pastor Calvary Callender

Thinking back on my life, I had a good childhood. We were a happy family of, dad, my little sister and myself. My sister, Sarah, is 5 years younger than me and we had some wild times. When I was about 12 years old, Sarah and I were playing around when we got into a fight over a large rubber bouncy ball. This wasn't a small bouncy ball; it was the super-deluxe version. You might remember the type. It was about 2 inches in diameter and had some weight to it.

Looking back, I don't remember what started the fight, but it quickly escalated as these things usually do. I knew better than to hurt my sister because my dad had engrained into me that if I ever hurt her, or even made a threat, I would be in big trouble.

On this day, I think I forgot all the rules. Angry, I took off after her, chasing her through the house. Our house had one of those islands in the kitchen and I found myself chasing her around and around this dumb island. One of our passes around the island, she made a break for her room toward the other end of the house down a long hallway. I realized I wouldn't catch her before she went into the room. I stopped, took aim, and threw that rubber bouncy ball at her as hard as I could.

It couldn't have been any closer. She had opened her door, and as she closed it, the ball hit the door...right about where her head had been. It put an indention in the door, which I am sure, is there to this day. There was no denying the evidence that I had intended to harm my sister. Boy, I sure got in trouble for that one. Luckily, she didn't get hurt that day.

Jesus, in his sermon on the mount, tells those who are listening, "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment." Jesus is giving us an example of what it means to raise the bar of righteousness. He tells them, "This is what the law says, but I want you to raise the bar of righteousness. If you will follow me, not only will you not murder someone, you won't even hate them."

Anger, if left unchecked, can be a poison in our lives. Think about the news that invades us every day. The FBI released some statistics on homicides. In 1994 there were 23,305 homicides, a 22% increase from 1985. The notion that the increase was from gang and drug violence is a myth. In 1994 the most common reason for homicide was an argument, representing 28% of all homicides, most occurring at home. The FBI report states that drug and gang killing accounted for only 7% and .6% respectively.

Anger can destroy us. We cannot let anger wiggle its way into our lives or else we will be eat up with it. And, with that anger in our lives, we cannot be reconciled to God.

Many of us might have always felt that if we don't murder someone, we are OK. If we don't "say" anything bad about someone that is OK. Jesus came in and said, "It's not about what you say or what you do as much as it is about what's in your heart." He takes the law and he tells us we have to raise the bar. So, it's not about murder or hate as much as it is about loving God and pursuing Jesus. It is in this state of mind that we will find peace with God.

News Features - Mentor's Corner


By Pastor Calvary Callender

I was reading through the story Jesus told about the Prodigal son in the Bible's book of Luke. Most of us know the story well. There was a man who had two sons. One of them, the younger son decided that he wanted his portion of their inheritance immediately. When the father gave him his portion, he took it and squandered the money. When he had lost everything, to the point he was so hungry that he was eating with the pigs, he decided he should go back home. When the father saw his prodigal son returning home, he ran down the road to meet him and threw a big party for him. As I was reading, though, I was struck by something I hadn't paid much attention to before...the elder brother. When the elder brother figured out what was going on and that his father was throwing a party for the prodigal son, Luke says that he "Became angry and refused to go in [to the party]." Jesus is using the elder brother in this story to illustrate the Pharisees. You see the Pharisees had a religion of good works. By their fasting, studying, praying, and giving, they hoped to earn blessings from God and merit eternal life. When they saw Jesus receiving and forgiving non-religious people, they rebelled against it. They didn't like it at all! We may be experts at following the rules of religion, but if we are out of fellowship with God, we cannot be in fellowship with our brothers and sisters; and if we are unforgiving towards others, we cannot be in communion with God. Jesus came and railed against the rules of organized religion for the entirety of his ministry. It's not about rules, but a relationship with Christ. You see, as we develop a relationship with Jesus, we want to do right...we want to do what Jesus wants. We must be careful not to be like the elder brother and fall into the trap of religion, but we must focus on loving God and others.

News Features - Mentor's Corner

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